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The Intelligence Briefing: ‘Twas the Sunday After Christmas

IQ2US Staff
Monday, December 28, 2020
...and all through the House, attention was focused on what Georgia’s voters would espouse. A run-off election to control the other chamber, in a contest that could pit neighbor versus neighbor. Meanwhile, vaccinations continued to roll out. But who could get them was all that many talked about. The elderly or workers essential; a debate to be had among those with high medical credential. And yet the stockings were still hung by the chimney with care, as the lawsuits mounted about whether the election was fair. Most were dismissed on the grounds that it was, but that didn’t stop Twitter from remaining abuzz. Perhaps that is why we need reasoned debate, with experts who rise above pundits and clickbait. 
 
And so, as we look back upon the year 2020, our favorite debates, to be sure, there are plenty. From Iran to China to the Electoral College, our hope is that each will have offered some knowledge. From policing to whether we should redistribute the wealth, civic debate is good for your health. But we rely on your support, as philanthropies do, so we can inform and discuss and bring a broad view. If you can offer a hand, click the website below. And with that, we invite you to this end-of-year show!
 
Wishing you the very best in 2021,
The Intelligence Squared U.S. Team
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Thank you for your ongoing support during this notably challenging year. To help us continue bringing high-quality debate, visit our website
As always, let us know what you think. 
 

HERE'S A FEW 2020 FAVORITES

Debate #1

The Electoral College Has Outlived Its Usefulness

YES:
“We see no particular reason voters in purple states such as Wisconsin should be valued more than voters in red states such as Mississippi or blue states such as Washington.” 
- THE EDITORIAL BOARD, The Washington Post
 
NO:
“The fact that the Electoral College doesn’t align with the “popular vote” isn’t alarming; it is the point. If the Electoral College synchronized with the outcome of the direct democratic national vote tally every election, it wouldn’t need to exist. It isn’t a loophole; it is a bulwark.” 
Read More
- DAVID HARSANYI, New York Post
 

Debate #2

Coronavirus Will Reshape the World Order in China's Favor

YES:
“The countries that best controlled the coronavirus pandemic haven’t necessarily been rewarded with economic benefits. But one economic giant has, and its success is likely to resonate for years. That’s China."
Read More
- MATHEW A. WINKLER, Bloomberg
 
NO:
“China's image is left hugely tarnished as a result of the outbreak. There have been outbursts of xenophobic violence in the country recently, and also the fact that foreigners were separated from their families has led to tensions."
Read More
- JORG WUTTKE, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, DW
 

Debate #3

Unresolved: American Policing 

One of our questions: Defund Police?
YES:
“[M]illions of dollars will be paid out directly to victims of the police officers' crimes against the people they pledged to protect and serve. But somehow it's always just "a few bad apples" causing the problems, as if they spoil by accident.” 
Read More
- D. WATKINS, Salon
 
NO:
“The majority of Americans agree that law enforcement requires major changes, but few want to defund departments. At a time of intractable disagreement and wild proposals by the Left, Republicans should act as the voice of reason. In this instance, the right should do what it often does best: look to the free market for solutions.” 
Read More
- MIMI ST. JOHNS, The Standford Review
 

Debate #4

It's Time to Redistribute the Wealth

YES:
“Inequality saps economic resilience, but the tax code does less to reduce inequality than it used to, even as income and wealth have become much more concentrated.” 
- AMY HANAUER, The Hill
 
NO:
“The notion that tax increases are positive for the economy is false. Hiking the marginal tax rates on labor or capital will reduce the incentive to work or save even if the higher revenue will be used well.” 
- ERICA YORK, The Hill
 

Debate #5

The Maximum Pressure Campaign Against Iran Is Working

YES:
“While critics of “maximum pressure” suggest that the policy undercuts so-called reformers, this too projects a misunderstanding of Iranian politics as reformers have no influence over the security and military issues at the heart of Iran’s rejectionism.” 
- MICHAEL RUBIN, National Interest
 
NO:
“Trump might be tempted to order a military attack on Iran, because his “maximum pressure” campaign failed to thwart that country’s nuclear program.” 
- KORI SCHAKE, The Atlantic
 
 
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